Maryland men's hoops opened Big Ten play Friday night with a close loss to Purdue, falling to the Boilermakers 80-75.
While any loss to a conference foe is going to be frustrating, this game especially stood out. Here are a couple reasons why.
Purdue's 11-0 run right after Maryland's 7-0 run
Maryland started the second half wonderfully, going on a 7-0 run to take their first lead of the game at 44-43. A layup from Darryl Morsell, a dunk from Bruno Fernando and a three from Kevin Huerter brought the Xfinity Center crowd to life. The Terps had trailed by 14 in the first half and now they were suddenly in the lead. Of course, Purdue responded to Maryland taking the lead with their own 11-0 run, going up 54-44. Purdue's run took some wind out of Maryland's sails and could not have come at a worse time for the Terps.
Maryland actually did a great job taking care of the ball
Maryland committed just seven turnovers, losing the ball on only 11 percent of their offensive possessions, according to Kenpom. The Terps successfully solved their biggest weakness on offense thus far this season and made sure they were careful with the ball.
They also cleaned up on the offensive glass
Maryland grabbed an offensive rebound after 36.4 percent of their misses, which is pretty solid when the national average is 29.3 percent. Maryland gave themselves no shortage of second and third opportunities with 16 offensive rebounds and yet they still were not able to come away with a win.
Dakota Mathias turned into Steph Curry in the first half
Seven shots. Seven baskets. That was Dakota Mathias' line in the first half against Maryland. Mathias entered the game shooting 56 percent on field goals, so it was not as if this shooting performance came totally out of nowhere. But anytime a player takes seven shots in a half and misses exactly zero of them, it definitely will grind your gears.
Anthony Cowan's seven points in 10 seconds were for naught
With Maryland down by eight points, Anthony Cowan hit a three, got fouled and knocked down his free throw.
For an encore performance, he made a lay-up and finished off his three-point play with another made free throw.
Cowan cut the lead to three points and when Maryland got a steal, they had a chance to send it into overtime. Sadly, Jared Nickens' attempt at a game-tying three missed and Cowan's seven points in ten seconds wound up being in a losing effort.